Rain saves 10-times French Open victor Rafa Nadal from shock defeat

Rain saves 10-times French Open victor Rafa Nadal from shock defeat

Nadal has now reached at least the quarter-finals at the French Open in 12 of the 14 years he has played the tournament. In the other quarterfinal, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro were into the tiebreak and at 5-5.

Marterer may have felt he would need a degree of fortune to have any chance of an upset and the early signs were promising as a net cord set up two break points, Nadal double faulting on the first to hand his opponent a 2-0 lead. In a match that had several tie-breaks written all over it, the pair were duking it out in a ... tie-break, with the score locked at 5-5 when they were forced off court.

Nadal quickly wrapped up the final two points needed to secure the second set and level the match before the world No 1 maintained his ascendancy during the third set with two breaks of serve to move ahead in the match, after saving four break points when he served out. After 39 consecutive sets won, Nadal dropped his first set since 2015.

Nadal, who lost only two points in the first five games, will next play Germany's world number 70 Maximilian Marterer.

Nadal then fought back to lead the second set 5-3, before heavy rain brought a halt to the last-eight encounter on Court Philippe Chatrier.

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Kasatkina will face US Open victor Sloane Stephens for a place in the semifinals.

The Spanish third seed, who was the champion in Paris in 2016, swept aside the Russian 6-2, 6-1 in just an hour and 10 minutes.

Schwartzman, the shortest player remaining in the men's draw, continued to thrill the Paris crowds with his tenacity and ball striking but was unable to take advantage of three break opportunities as an energised Nadal eventually served out for victory.

Halep won in 59 minutes with the second set taking just 22 minutes.

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